Our typical Sunday morning paper routine involves removing the ads from the news, then putting the news in the recycling bin and combing through the ads. Normally, The Boy has very little interest in any portion of the Sunday paper, but there was a Toys ‘R’ Us ad this past Sunday.
Several times on Sunday, I caught him intently studying the ad. He’d hone in on one item, then stare at it, analyzing every part of it. Of course, the ad was full of things he loves: a 7-piece drum set (out of our price range right now), several backyard sets (no room on our lot), various Thomas the Tank Engine toys… Each item was carefully scrutinized, and it was as though he weighed all the choices on the page before calling out, “Mama! Da-ee! Dis!” and pointing to his item of choice.
Yesterday morning, he spread open the ad on the couch, then stood before it, staring at each of the pictures. He propped one arm on the ottoman and leaned into it, adjusting his stance from time to time. I watched him from the kitchen as I dried and put away dishes, careful not to disturb him with my presence. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity (but was really only about five minutes), he looked up, caught my eye, and beamed. “Mama! Mama! Mama!” he said, running to me, the ad flapping beside him, clutched in his tiny fist.
He threw his arms around my leg, then motioned for me to sit down. “Down!” he commanded. When I obliged, he turned around and backed into my lap, spreading open the ad for me to see. “There!” he said excitedly, pointing to the Thomas the Tank Engine table (currently on sale but both out of our price range and too big to store anywhere in our house).
“Yes, I see! That’s a very nice table!”
“Thomas,” he said, correcting me. “Mama! Thomas!”
I wouldn’t dare ask him if he wanted it. I know full well what the answer would be. Instead, I smiled, nodded, and said, “Yes, Baby, that’s a very nice table where Thomas can play!”
He seemed content enough with that response. He handed me the ad, jumped out of my lap, and turned his attention to his Yo Gabba Gabba! friends.
I caught him looking at the ad again this morning. Thankfully, it was a different page, but it was with the same intense concentration.
This behavior is eerily similar to mine in the weeks leading up to Christmas or my birthday. And with The Boy’s second birthday only days away, it’s almost like he knows!